WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina – The Wake Forest Demon Deacons made 25-of-34 second half field goals Thursday night and blew open the game with a 67-point second half to score a 110-76 win over LSU at the Lawrence Joel Veteran Memorial Coliseum in the final game before Christmas for both teams.
LSU is now 8-3 on the season, losing in its first true road game of the year, while Wake Forest is now 9-3. Both teams will open play in their respective conferences this coming week.
Antonio Blakeney hit 7-of-14 field goal attempts to finish with 21 points for the Tigers, while Craig Victor II added 14 and Duop Reath 12. But LSU, which shot 40 percent for the game (24-of-60) and 4-of-14 from the arc, had 17 turnovers and that resulted in 25 Wake Forest points.
The Demon Deacons had six players in double figures as they hit 16-of-26 three-point field goals (61.5%) and 41-of-69 overall for the game (59.4%). Forward Dinos Mitoglou hit 10-of-14 field goals and 8-of-11 three point attempts to score 28 points in 31 minutes to lead Wake.
Bryant Crawford, who had a big game last year in Baton Rouge for the Deacons, had 20 points and 11 assists, while John Collins and Austin Arians had 15 each, Keyshawn Woods 14 and Mitchell Wilbekin 10.
Wake Forest led from the jump, scoring the first 10 points of the contest before the Tigers were able to claw back in the game. LSU was never able to tie the game or take the lead but did close the game to 31-30 with 4:42 left in the opening half on two free throws by Brian Bridgewater.
But the Demon Deacons responded with a 9-0 run to push the game back to 40-30, before LSU worked to cut the lead in half at the break, 43-38.
But in the second half, Wake Forest was able to make almost three-quarters of its shots, 73.5 percent, and an amazing 11-of-14 from three-point range to shoot LSU out of it completely.
Wake posted nine straight points out of the locker room to increase the lead quickly to 14 at 52-38 just 98 seconds into the second half and put the game away for good with a 26-11 run that upped the lead to 78-49 with 11:12 to play.
NOTES -- The Tigers will return from the Christmas break on the night of Dec. 26 and will begin preparations for the Southeastern Conference opener on Dec. 29 against Vanderbilt at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. It will be the annual gold game.
Coach Jones will hold his radio show next week on Tuesday night again at 8 p.m. following the Nikki Fargas Show at TJ Ribs.
There will be no edition of “Inside LSU Basketball this weekend because of the Christmas holiday but the show will resume with a review of the Vanderbilt game and more on New Year’s night on many of the LSU Sports Television Network stations.
The Vanderbilt game will be televised by ESPNU at 8 p.m. and tickets will be available at LSUtix.net and during the holiday hours announced by the LSU Athletic Ticket Office on our web site.
Follow updates on LSU Basketball at www.Facebook.com/LSUBasketball and @LSUBasketball on Twitter.
LSU Head Coach Johnny Jones
“I have to credit Wake Forest, Coach Manning, and his team with their performance tonight. I was really disappointed in our play, but you have to commend them for the win. They came out and shot the ball extremely well. We made runs at them, and they responded to those runs in the first half. Then they came back out in the second half and did not look back. We were not able to respond in the second half like we did in the first half. I thought they got looks and shot the ball extremely well.”
On Wake Forest offense…
“They were incredible from the three-point line. Those were big plays for them. They were able to get the ball to the rim and make some plays at the basket. They kind of had their way. They also got the mid-range game going a little bit. They took advantage of the opportunities presented to them.”
Wake Forest Head Coach Danny Manning
“9 o’ clock games make for long days waiting on the game time to roll around. I thought both teams got off to a really good start defensively. The first few possessions of the game both teams struggled to score. We were able to get some shots going, and things worked out really well for us. It was certainly good for Dinos to see consecutive shots go in. Down the line Austin made some big ones, Crawford is solid for us, and Mitch comes in and knocks down some three-pointers. We needed those shots tonight because our feature post player struggled tonight. We had a lot of guys come in and give us great contributions.”
On second-half performance…
“I was happy because as a staff we saw some growth in our team. We have been in situations like this earlier in the year when we would get decent leads on team and not being able to sustain them. I thought tonight we made a few mistakes, but we haven’t been making as many as we have in the past.”